Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I finished page 25 yesterday (1:17) and began working on page 26. I noticed that my drawings were still 'unbalanced'. I'm still not quite sure how to define unbalanced, but right now it has to do with the proper proportions or ratios of negative and positive space which includes solids and lines. Included in this definition is a harmonious balance of thick/ thin line weight. In other words, my drawings felt 'off' and I began analyzing why that was.

I've been fawning over Akira Toriyama lately, so I decided to do some practicing. I think his drawings are really well balanced according to the definition provided above. I took some drawings from the comic and began copying them. My initial goal was merely to match or emulate his line weight and proportion.

Here's my first attempt. I wasn't at all trying to go for drawing accuracy, only line weight. A major, but slightly painful, leap forward for me was simply zooming out when I drew or inked. I'm used to zooming in more than 25% and focusing on each line individually. However, 25% was still very close to the image, showing maybe half of Goku's face while I inked. I think by staying focused on the whole image layed out a good foundation for improvement.

Still working with image zooming, I tried this next drawing at 20%. At this level, I can see the entire head of Jheese. This level provided me with great success! The only problem now to solve is the thickness of my pen. This drawing was inked at 1.00 mm probably.

This ink (the Freeza drawing) was inked at .95 mm. I found that this line weight was very close to the original drawing barring inking errors on my part. To correct this problem, I decided to drop the weight down to .90 mm.

It's time to start applying what I learned to my own work! Although it isn't bad, I wondered if I'd actually learned anything from the practice drawings. The balance is really off still! I wondered if it was due to lack of blacks...

So I filled the hair black. I think it does make a difference in balance, but only superficially. There is still line weight problems. It seems that, whether the lines are really thin or really thick or in the middle that the drawing still doesn't quite come together. My theory now is that this phenomenon is due to proportions and ratios.

Here's my latest drawing. I tried to vary the line quality a bit more (though the drawing is still flat in many places) and added more volume lines on the face and hair on the head. I think these are minor improvements, but probably still surface solutions like the black hair. Looking over the drawing, I think the left eye and the hair shape are not properly placed/ constructed and that leads to image imbalance. The ear is a little small, too. Anyway, I'm going to keep whittling away the problems until I achieve the ultimate balance!

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